Sunday, 3 May 2009

Jury's still out on the Seesmic Desktop but it's chances are getting better.

If you've been following my twitter feed you'll know that since the Seesmic Desktop added Facebook integration and follow/ unfollow buttons on the latest version of their 'Preview" client I've made a concerted effort to give the app a fair go even though I've already said that I'm pretty much a Tweetdeck person. 

To give credit where credit is due though, the Seesmic Desktop is a really nice tool. Using it as my primary twitter client for the last couple of days I've found a number of features that are really quite useful that are deficient in Tweetdeck. 

First of all, the main reason I decided give Seesmic Desktop another chance was because in the latest update, it included the Facebook integration. As this was included in the latest Tweetdeck update too I wanted to see if it was a question of keeping up with the Joneses however the good folk at Seesmic have one upped Tweetdeck as it pulls not only status updates from Facebook but also wall posts and integrates images and screen grabs from links onto the window. Aesthetically it looks a lot more useful and informative especially since most people who only use Facebook (and don't update their Facebook profile via twitter) tend to update their status less frequently than they post links or images. 

The other area where Seesmic Desktop has one upped Tweetdeck is that it allows you to "like" a Facebook post. Tweetdeck so far only allows you to retweet a Facebook status update. I imagine the race is on to see which client will allow you to comment on posts via the client although I am not entirely sure this will be possible as the Facebook team still probably wants you to visit the site and click on their ads from time to time. 

Another feature I'd like to see is if either of the clients decides to integrate albums into the features then they will be delving into Orsiso territory which I still keep installed because it is by far still the most attractive way to view Facebook & Flickr albums all in one place. I imagine they won't do so though as it will just bloat the app too much.

The other feature that Seesmic have added in their latest update is the follow/ unfollow functions that appear in the "cog" icon when you roll over profile images which is a feature that I imagine was always on the cards but only just rolled out. All in all, as mentioned before, the Seesmic offering is much slicker than the Tweetdeck one and you'd think that switching over was just a matter of time. The problem that I come back to though is that aside from the features, I believe that for existing Tweetdeck users the issue is really desktop real estate. As you can see from the image, Tweetdeck still uses the entire screen for feeds but Seesmic has a left side column for the menu and the top side input box, both of which cannot be hidden at this stage. As a user who tends to squint at his 12.1 inch notebook from his bed rather than a 21 inch widescreen monitor, this little issue just makes Tweetdeck more efficient on the eyes. This would of course be much worse for people using netbooks with a mere 9 or 10 inches or screen space available.

So the jury is still out as to whether I will switch to Seesmic but I will continue give it a couple more days as my primary client to see if I can get used to it but the deal clincher for me will be if Seesmic Desktop will allow me to hide the input box and menus when I don't need it and which client will let me comment on Facebook first.

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